A new study found that “fierce” winds kill reefs by nearly 30% by destroying corals and other marine life in the Atlantic Ocean.
The study was led by a team of researchers from the UK, Canada and the US.
“Fierce winds are what destroy corals,” lead author Professor Daniel Ritchie, a researcher at the University of East Anglia’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (SMAS), told Polygon.
“It’s a real threat to the future of coral reefs worldwide.”
“There are very few corals in the ocean that are as good as those in the Pacific Ocean,” he said.
“Corals live in symbiosis with each other and their surroundings.
If there’s an extreme wind event, they’re going to die.””
They’re just not going to live long enough for us to get a glimpse of them.”
A corals shell is broken off after being struck by a strong hurricane on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia’s New England coast in May.
(AAP)The team also found that strong winds were a significant factor in causing coral bleaching, which is when coral dead zones become wider and deeper.
The team, including lead author and PhD candidate Dr Jennifer McLean, conducted the research in collaboration with the Marine Biological Association of Australia and the UK’s National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
It found that, during a tropical cyclone, winds can be up to 40 times stronger than normal, leading to a reduction in the water’s surface pressure, causing coral to die.
“That was one of the biggest challenges we were working on,” Ritchie said.”[We] wanted to see how strong these winds were going to be.
And they were really intense, really strong.”
He said the research also looked at the effects of wind speed on corals.
“We wanted to know how strong winds would be and how fast they were blowing,” he explained.
“How fast they could blow was really important.
You’re looking at very rapid changes to corals’ physiology and how they respond to that.”
So if you can see how quickly corals can recover from these kinds of winds, it might help you understand what’s happening in the ecosystem.
“The researchers also examined how winds affected marine ecosystems.”
If you have a really strong storm system, then you have an effect on the sea level and on the wind speed.”””
Wind speeds are influenced by things like storm systems, and they also have to do with the winds that are going on over land, like sea level.”
“If you have a really strong storm system, then you have an effect on the sea level and on the wind speed.”
“So you could see how the winds are moving, you could also see how corals respond to changes in wind speed and how that influences how they adapt to changing conditions.”
Ritchie said it was important to keep in mind the factors that affect coral reefs, such as their size and the strength of winds.
“In general, winds that blow at the same rate as we do tend to blow from the east, which means we have more winds to push towards the coast,” he told Polygon.
“But what happens when there are other kinds of conditions?
If there are strong winds, there’s less water to push around and more water to sink.”
The research was published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.